Fishing in Tennessee

Norris Dam State Park Offers Many Angling Opportunities

If you’re looking for fishing destination this year that accommodates a wealth of angling opportunities, look no further than Norris Dam State Park in Anderson County.

If you’re looking for fishing destination this year that accommodates a wealth of angling opportunities, look no further than Norris Dam State Park in Anderson County.

Located on the shoreline of the 33,840-acre Norris Reservoir, Norris Dam State Park offers a warm water reservoir setting. The park also provides trout fishing for those who like colder water. More than 800 miles of shoreline provide a great recreational fishing. With a fully-equipped marina and boat ramp available, you can make your spring fishing dreams come true.

The Norris Reservoir provides some of the best angling in the state for smallmouth bass, striped bass, redear sunfish and walleye. Striped bass regularly reach 25 pounds or larger. The Clinch River below the Norris Tailwater is renowned for its trout angling and provides year-round habitat for rainbow, brown and brook trout. The current state record brown trout was caught from the tailwater in 1988.

If you are looking for guided fishing trips, there are several experienced guide services in the area for both the reservoir and tailwater. 

The area is historically significant as this was the first dam constructed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Construction of the dam began in 1933 shortly after the creation of the TVA and was completed in 1936 impounding the Clinch River to form Norris Reservoir. The park construction coincided with the dam project and Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees provided much of the labor and skill in the development of the park. 

Before heading out with your fishing pole and boat in tow, be sure to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations for Norris Reservoir and tailwater.

Where to stay

Deciding on a place to stay will be easy as the state park offers a variety of cabin or camping options to accommodate your lodging needs. Norris Dam State Park is home to 10 standard cabins that have three bedrooms, one bathroom, a living room, kitchen and dining area. Cabins are equipped with a microwave, television with local channels, gas fireplace and central heat and air. Linens and cooking/dining utensils are provided. There are two designated pet-friendly standard cabins.

There are 19 historic Rustic Cabins that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Located in wooded areas, they are equipped with a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace with firewood during the winter and electric heaters and window air conditioning units, kitchenette and living area. The A cabins can occupy two, including children and the AA cabins can occupy four, including children. Two designated rustic cabins are pet friendly.

The state park also has campgrounds equipped with a table, grill and fire pit. Bathhouses are also centrally located in each campground. There is a laundromat that is open seasonally next to the park office. Twenty-five sites have water and electric hook-up capabilities, and there are 10 primitive sites for tents only.

Where to eat

While in the area, savor the delicious barbecue offerings at Coal Creek Smokehouse. Pulled pork or chicken sandwiches, wings, half and full-rack ribs, cornbread, mac n’ cheese and more can be ordered. Wash it down with a local lager or IPA for the perfect meal after being on the lake all day.

’Til next time, catch one for me in Tennessee.

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